Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park

The- ever spectacular Lake Manyara National Park is located in the northern part of Tanzania. It is just 126 km away which is only a 1 hour and 30-minute southwest drive from Arusha Town.

Beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment and on the edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park stands out due to its incredible wildlife & birdlife, breath-taking views, and varied ecosystem that supports a plethora of animal and plant species.

Lake Manyara National Park is en route towards Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park. Its ecological vividness contributed by open grasslands, dense woodlands, Rift Valley Soda Lake, groundwater forests, baobab-strewn cliffs and a lot more makes this national park a desirable safari destination and one to add to your Tanzania Safari Packages.

The land stretch that runs between Lake Manyara and the Great Rift Valley defines the entire Tanzania National Park and its unique offerings to each one of its visitors. The presence of huge grasslands, damp areas, and conveniently approachable water sources make this National Park a great place for wildlife.

In addition to this, the huge savannah plains with large grasses during the wet seasons are filled with large buffaloes, wildebeests, giraffes, zebra herds, and many such views to add to the viewer’s delight.

Lake Manyara National Park Size - 330 sq. km / 125 sq. mile including a lake surface of 230 sq. km / 89 sq. miles, when water levels are high during wet seasons.

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Book a safe Lake Manyara safari today! Choose a reputable operator, follow the park's rules, and listen to your guide for an unforgettable experience.

How to Reach Lake Manyara National Park?

The National Park is accessible by road route from most cities in Tanzania, the closest being Arusha which is approximately 2 hours’ drive. You can also fly to Lake Manyara Airstrip by charter or scheduled flight from all major airports in the country and airstrips from other parks.

Lake Manyara National Park by Air

  • The most convenient way to get to Lake Manyara National Park when flying from outside to Tanzania is by scheduling your flight to the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). The airport is just 46 km away from Arusha.
  • Flying on a domestic flight connecting from the Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam and Arusha Airport (ARK) is also a convenient way to reach Lake Manyara, National Park.
  • Charter flights also operate to the Lake Manyara Airstrip that connects from most major airstrips in Tanzania. Generally, these are booked by respective tour operators as part of the Tanzania Safari Packages.

Lake Manyara National Park by Road

  • Lake Manyara National Park is located 126 km away from Arusha and is well connected by road. It can be easily reached by any private conveyance.
  • By car, it takes one and a half to two-hour time on the newly constructed tarred road from Arusha Town to the Manyara entrance gate.
  • The park forms an important stop as part of your Northern circuit safari. It can also be accessed through public transport like a bus to Mto wa Mbu village and then rent a car to get you into the park.
  • However, expect to encounter heavy crowds during High seasons mostly in the northern part of the park, especially during the afternoons.
Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park Climate & Weather

Lake Manyara National Park weather remains similar to the rest of Tanzania.

The weather is generally mild and temperate, average temperature remains consistent throughout the year. It gets rarely hot leading to discomfort, otherwise, it is pretty pleasant rather cold mainly during the early mornings and evenings.

The vividness of this National Park lies in its rich wildlife, incredible bird species, and breathtaking views. Moreover, the moderate climate and favorable weather conditions make Lake Manyara National Park an all-year-round safari destination without a doubt.

Month-Wise Weather of Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara In January

In one of the hottest months, the average temperature varies between 30°C to 16°C. Heat prevails from January through March in Lake Manyara National Park.

Lake Manyara In February

Another tropical month in Lake Manyara National Park. The average temperature varies between 30°C to 17°C.

Lake Manyara In March

Even though it rains for 15 days in the month of March, it still remains hot. The average temperature during the whole day varies between 30°C to 17°C.

Lake Manyara In April

In the month of April, the Lake Manyara National Park is moderately hot with an average temperature ranging between max 27°C and min 18°C. The average high temperature was slight to 27°C as compared to that of the last three months.

Lake Manyara In May

It remains moderately hot during May. The temperature remains between 26°C and 16°C. However, the average high temperature is more or less similar to the month of April.

Lake Manyara In June

In June, the winter starts to hit Lake Manyara National Park. The days are warmer with an average temperature varying between 25°C and 15°C. The average high temperature however continues to remain at 25°C.

Lake Manyara In July

July is a warm winter month in Lake Manyara National Park, with an average temperature varying between 14°C and 25°C. The coldest months are June and July, with an average temperature of 25°C.

Lake Manyara In August

With an average temperature varying between 26°C and 15°C, the Lake Manyara National Park remains moderately warm. The average high temperature continues to be 26°C.

Lake Manyara In September

September marks the beginning of spring in Lake Manyara National Park is moderately hot. Average temperature varies between 28°C and 15°C.

Lake Manyara In October

In October the average temperature of the day varies between 29°C and 16°C. 29°C being the highest average temperature during the month.

Lake Manyara In November

Warmer month November where temperature varies between 29°C and 17°C. However, higher average temperature continues to be around 29°C which is the same as the month of October.

Lake Manyara In December

It is moderately hot month in Lake Manyara National Park with an average temperature varying between 16°C and 29°C.



Average Temperature Variation


Average Rainfall days

Average Daylight


Short Dry and Hottest, Rainfall still significant

30°C to 16°C

60 mm

12 days

12 hr. and 18 min


Short Dry and Hottest, Still rains

30°C to 17°C

80 mm

11 days

12 hr. and 14 min


Wet and hot

30°C to 17°C

114 mm

15 days

12 hr. and 8 min

AprilWet and Hot

Wet and Hot

27°C to 18°C

161 mm

19 days

12 hr. and 2 min


Dry and Hot

26°C to 16°C

36 mm

13 days

11 hr. and 57 min


Dry and warm

25°C to 15°C

2 mm

4 days

11 hr. and 55 min


Dry and warm

25°C to 14°C

1 mm

3 days

11 hr. and 56 min


Dry and warm

26°C to 15°C

1 mm

3 days

12 hr. and 0 min


Dry and warm

28°C to 15°C

1 mm

2 days

12 hr. and 5 min


Dry and warm29°C to 16°C

29°C to 16°C

16 mm

5 days

12 hr. and 11 min


Wet and hot

29°C to 17°C

71 mm

12 days

12 hr. and 17 min


Wet and hot

29°C and 16°C

75 mm

14 days

12 hr. and 20 min

Lake Manyara National Park receives two main seasons in a year- the dry season and the wet season. Each season has its own share of benefits and unique offerings.

The Dry Seasons in Lake Manyara National Park

There are two spells of the dry season in Lake Manyara National Park:

The short dry spell prevails in the months of January and February. However, the longer dry spell is experienced in June through October.

During these dry spells, more and more visitors do approach the park for outstanding game-viewing opportunities. Considering the fact that there are limited water sources and vegetation getting thin and short, spotting wildlife becomes easier.

As a result of limited water sources, visitors can spot maximum wildlife forms concentrated in certain places which means more glances of prey-predator play.

This definitely makes the dry season a suitable time to explore the vast wilderness and richness of Lake Manyara National Park.

The Wet Seasons in Lake Manyara National Park

The time from November through May marks the wet season in Lake Manyara National Park. After rain the park comes back to life, there is more greenery with taller grasses and amazing scenic beauty that provides ample photographic opportunities.

Of course, overgrown grasses hinders game viewing but that is so wonderfully compensated with the distinct birding safaris. Migratory birds make their way to the park making it all the way more beautiful.

Wet season is a great time to explore the beauty and uniqueness of the park as it is less crowded and more open. Definitely, a choice if looking forward to a budget Tanzania Safari as prices during this time are at all-time low.

Major Attractions in Lake Manyara National Park

The incredible game-viewing circuit through the compact ecosystem of Tanzania Safari offers an example of an ideal Tanzania Safari Experience. Right from the entrance gate, there will never be a moment that won’t amaze you.

The road takes you through an expanse of lush groundwater forest where hundreds of baboons along the roadside can be seen welcoming you! Other animals that you are expected to encounter are blue monkeys and cape bushbucks.

Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara is the major attraction of the national park. 89 square miles of the park is covered by the lake itself. It is a shallow alkaline lake that is formed as a result of a depression within the Great Rift Valley.

The average depth of the lake typically varies between 2.8 to 3 feet, making it quite accessible for wildlife throughout the year.

The lake is surrounded by marshlands, saline flats, and grasslands. Because of an unlimited water source, there are large fig and mahogany trees filling up the forest area.

This alkaline Soda Lake is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters.

Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, which is clear from the statement stated by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.

Tree-climbing lions

Lake Manyara’s famous tree climbing lions are another reason for visiting this Tanzania National Park. It is among the most unique attractions that can be seen by visitors.

Lions seem to climb trees mostly to keep themselves from getting bitten by insects, keep an eye on their prey grazing on the nearby savannah plains, and lastly to stay protected from elephants and buffalos, who at times tend to attack.

Pink flamingos

Lake Manyara is famous for hosting probably the largest population of Flamingos in the world. Algae-filled Lake Manyara attracts nearly about 1.9 million flamingos that leverage the lake for feeding on algae.

The big flocks of flamingos make them easier to be spotted from a distance and almost paint the Lake pink.

Impressively tusked elephants

A large Elephant population inhabits Lake Manyara National Park. They can be abundantly seen throughout the park and more so near the water bodies during the dry seasons. Lake Manyara also serves as an important stop for these huge mammals.

Hot springs

A large swampy area that gets fed with hot springs water located on the western shores of Lake Manyara National Park is called Maji Moto kubwa hot spring.

A number of hot springs seep from the nearby valley wall, bubbling at over 60 degrees Celsius fall into the swamp.

It is a famous viewpoint, where you can do almost nothing and still enjoy your time gazing at the timeless beauty of this place. You can actually boil eggs in the piping hot stream of water.

Bird species

Lake Manyara National Park is a habitat for a variety of bird species that includes a huge array of migratory and native birds. Flamingos, ostriches, hornbills, pelicans, herons, grey crowned cranes, secretary birds, cormorants and storks are among the major bird species in the park .

With over 400 varieties of bird species, Lake Manyara National Park is rightly called a bird watcher’s paradise. Even a first-time visitor to Africa might expect to spot 100 of these in one day.

Lake Manyara National Park Wildlife

Elephants inhabit the National Park in large numbers. Impressive tree-climbing lions are a unique feature of the park's varied wildlife. Buffalo herds can be seen grazing the grasslands within the park.

Other forms of wildlife that grace the Lake Manyara National Park include bushbuck, baboon, buffalo, badger, elephant, giraffe, warthog, and zebra.

During the dry season when water sources get scanty, inmate animals gather at limited water holes available thus giving more scope for exclusive prey-predator play. Some of the predator species include African wild cat, African golden cat, bat-eared fox, Cheetah, civet, hyena, jackal, lion, and leopard.

Lake Manyara National Park offers ample opportunity for wildlife spotting, game viewing, birding, and unique night game drives. During wet seasons when water levels are sufficiently high, visitors can go canoeing as well.

Activities in Lake Manyara National Park

Cultural tours, guided nature walks, and bush lunch/dinner are some of the attractive activities that can be included while on the Lake Manyara National Park safari tour.

Game Drives

Game drives usually during the daytime are the best way to explore the diversity of wildlife in the Lake Manyara National Park. The wildlife species can be seen in their natural habitat busy with their daily activities.

Lake Manyara is all covered with mahogany trees and therefore an excellent place to spot giraffes, monkeys, and buffalos.

While on its vast stretch of savannah plains one can easily spot zebras, impalas, warthogs, elephant herds, cheetahs, hippos among many others.

Spotting tree-climbing lions taking rest on the tree branches is also a common phenomenon in the Lake Manyara National Park.

Night game drives

Lake Manyara National Park is among the few national parks that provide for Night safaris. Sometimes those animals that are difficult to be spotted during broad daylight specially the nocturnal animals can be easily seen during night. Night Safaris are done in special safari jeeps with sides and top open for ensuring uninterrupted night game driving and viewing.

Animals like lions, leopards, porcupines, civet cats, jackals and so many others can be seen taking strolls at night. Therefore, do not forget to plan for a night game drive in the Lake Manyara National Park during your next Safari In Tanzania and experience the thrill and excitement on an entirely different level.


Like Night safaris, Lake Manyara National Park is among the few places in Tanzania where you can go canoeing. Canoeing on Lake Manyara offers ample opportunity to spot aquatic wildlife like water birds, hippos along with many other animals on the shore gathered to quench their thirst.

Walking Safaris

Lake Manyara National Park offers an extraordinary opportunity to discover its varied wildlife in the most distinct manner. This National Park is a scenic beauty and nature walks are an excellent way to explore its various facets.

In the company of armed guides for the safety of tourists from dangerous animals, walking safaris in the Lake Manyara National Park is one of a kind that takes you close enough to nature and ensures close encounters with the wildlife.

Bird Watching

With over 400 species of bird variety, Lake Manyara National Park is a bird lover's haven. Mornings and late evenings are the perfect time for birding. Single day of bird watching ensures spotting of at least 100 varieties of bird species.

Some of the most common birds that can be seen during bird watching in the Lake Manyara National Park include the African hawk eagle, comb duck, African grey hornbill, pink-backed pelican, pied kingfisher, flamingos, and many more.

The wet season, especially the month of November is the best time for bird watching as it is also the migration time for birds.

Treetop canopy walk

Moving along the treetop walkway is another major activity to undertake during the Lake Manyara National Park safari. It is an incredible way of discovering the beauty of the park.

Canopy walk ensures ultimate views and amazing bird-watching experiences. You will also come across playful monkeys jumping and entertaining throughout the route.


Camping in the campsites of Lake Manyara National Park is a wonderful activity to experience camp life under the open sky amidst the vast wilderness.

Visitors can opt for exclusive and luxury camping facilities available or can get their own tents and set them up in the given space. There are camping facilities available in the nearby Mto wa Mbu village.

Cultural Tours

Tanzania Cultural Tours are the best way to taste the indigenous and rich cultural heritage of Tanzania. Visiting the local villages gives an insight into the life of the Maasai people.

Get along with the locals to learn about their lifestyle, culture, food habits, and local cuisine for a better understanding of Tanzanian culture.

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Lake Manyara National Park Entry Fee

Lake Manyara National Park entry fee is paid by the tourists in order to make an entry into the park premises. The entrance fee varies according to the citizenship status it varies for non-residents, residents or expatriates, and also East Africans or Tanzanians.


Age (16 years and above

Age (5 to 15 years)


29.50 USD (High Season)

26.55 USD (Low Season)

8.85 USD

Non Residents

59 USD (High Season) 53.10 USD (Low season)

17.70 USD

Best time to Visit Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park can be visited comfortably throughout the year. Dry season is considered favourable for wildlife viewing firstly, due to thin and sparse vegetation.

And secondly, due to the drying up of water holes in most parts of the park, animals gather at limited water holes for drinking water. This makes wildlife viewing easier and effortless.

On the other hand, during the wet season when there is more greenery throughout, ensure amazing bird viewing opportunities. November is the month when many migratory birds visit in large numbers and grace the park.

Best Time To Visit Lake Manyara

From our clients

Tyler D


WOW! Such an incredible trip, full of animal sightings. Our experience was overall fantastic from start to finish. African scenic safaris is a GREAT choice to do your safari tour!

Lake Manyara National Park Camps & Accommodation

And when it comes to Lake Manyara National Park accommodation facilities, there are many options available around the area to fit every need. You can choose the best, as per your taste and budget.

Some Budget Friendly Accommodation Option Includes:

Bougainvillea Group

Bougainvillea group has been providing comfortable accommodation, great food, and friendly service on the northern safari circuit since 2005.

Bougainvillea group’s Bougainvillea Safari Lodge is located on the outskirts of Karatu town about midway between The Lake Manyara National Park and The Ngorongoro Crater.

Lake Manyara Tortilis Camp

The Manyara Tortilis is located in the heart of Lake Manyara national park with an excellent view of the lake.

The camp offers all en-suite bathroom facilities and a great camping experience. You can even enjoy a bonfire dinner along with the rest of the guests in the camp.

Book your stay with Tortilis for a comfortable stay within budget during your Tanzania Safari and have a wonderful time throughout.

Some Mid-Range Accommodation Option Includes:

Serena Hotels & Lodges

Serena’s location is one of its major advantages. It is located on the edge of the Great Rift Valley escarpment in the northern end of the Lake Manyara National Park. The view from the cliff top is magnificent.

Serena lodge is big, accommodating around 145 guests on any day. The stay is comfortable. Moreover, the rooms and services are reasonably priced.

Manyara’s Secret

Claimed to be the most romantic lodge of Tanzania, Manyara’s secret is a lovely place to be in while you are on a safari to Tanzania.

From the lodge you can actually catch the glimpses of tree-climbing lions, who call Lake Manyara National Park their home. There are a variety of bird species and an equally good number of elephant populations.

So, without a doubt if a tourist wants to have an immensely beautiful wildlife viewing experience then, choosing Manyara’s secret can never be a wrong decision.

Some of the Luxury accommodation options includes–

&Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

&BEYOND Lake Manyara Tree Lodge melts into the natural beauty of its breathtaking surroundings within the vicinity of The Lake Manyara National Park.

The Lodge offers an exclusive safari experience in a more remote area of the National Park.

The ultimate spot to rejuvenate mind, body and soul. Wellness is the motto at the Lodge and the lush forest environment is an ultimate way to recharge yourself.

From the comfort of your rooms you can experience spectacular sunrises and sunsets, which are just enough to set your mood right.

Each tree house is exclusive and offers guests a private eye into the lush surroundings of the lodge and an incredible view of the park as well.

Wellworth Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge

The lodge is located on the rim of the great African Rift Valley with stunning views over Lake Manyara, Mount Meru and on a clear day, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Overlooking pristine lush green gardens and local vegetation with over 130 species of birds is a desirable staying option.

Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge location is pretty comfortable to reach as it is only 110 km from Arusha, 15 km from Mto wa Mbu Village, 7 km from Lake Manyara Airport, and 10 km from Lake Manyara National Park.

Escarpment Luxury Lodge

Overlooking the beautiful lake Manyara below, the Escarpment Luxury Lodge is located on the rim of the Great Rift Valley.

It is only a 25 km drive from the iconic Ngorongoro Conservation Area and a 90-minute drive to Tarangire National Park.

The main lodge area features a uniquely designed lounge bar just off the restaurant serving exquisitely crafted dishes.

Mawe Mawe

It is a luxury accommodation found in Northern Tanzania at the edge of the Great Rift Valley with the Manyara ecosystem and you mostly reach here during your Northern Circuit Safari.

It is beautifully located amidst the wild between four National Parks including the Manyara, Serengeti, Tarangire, and Ngorongoro Conservation Areas.

It is 3-4 drive from Arusha Town and can even be reached by air. It takes 30 Minutes from Arusha to land at Lake Manyara Airstrip and from there an hour drive to reach the Mawe Mawe lodge.

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What do visitors think about Lake Manyara National Park?

Lake Manyara Park was established in 1989. Since then it has been drawing thousands of tourists every year. Although it is not as famous as Serengeti, it is the entry and existing point of the northern safari circuit.

If you are on a Safari In Tanzania, do not forget to visit this shallow alkaline lake.

Don’t take our word for it – believe our clients!

The following are the opinions of our satisfied clients who visited Tanzania and had the time of their life.

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